Out with the blues, in with a brew

Samaritans campaign Brew Monday, on Monday 16th January, usually known as Blue Monday, supposedly the most difficult day of the year, is designed to celebrate this day with a brew and a chat to beat those blues.

Here at Community Connections, we’re getting involved by encouraging everyone to reach out to a loved one or a friend for a chat over your drink of choice, not only on Brew Monday, but whenever you feel you need a little pick me up.

We have lots of groups and courses where you can connect with peers and facilitators, and our Light Relief Coffee Break, running every Thursday 12:15-1:15pm, is the perfect group to connect over a cuppa.

One of our lovely clients Joanne, has some inspiring words for anyone feeling that this would be too much of a challenge.

“I am fairly new to Richmond Fellowship Community Connections, I referred myself towards the end of 2022 and the support and opportunity to connect with others has been really beneficial.

In the past, on the few times I decided to follow my gut instinct and put my trust in someone it always ended badly, with my trust shattered. When I was in my early twenties the company I worked for sent me for a psychiatric assessment. I don’t remember much but the letter they sent to my employers and my GP labelled me as ‘socially retarded’. It was incredibly unhelpful, and I allowed it to become my reality. It became so much easier to simply not engage with other people and to isolate myself from society because I thought no-one would understand me or like me.

When I started my journey of recovery the counsellor I was having talking therapy and CBT with suggested that making social connections was an important tool in recovery. I remember feeling incredibly uncomfortable about this and a little unwilling.

I started attending online coffee mornings with the Mary Frances Trust and I gradually began to realise that I was not alone, other people too faced their own unhelpful thinking patterns, and they were all reaching out for connection. I began to care about them, and as I got to know more about them, I properly realised that I wasn’t ‘socially retarded’, I was just angry and unable to deal with emotions. I have met some incredible people and they have become friends, and I mean proper friends, hopefully for life. Learning how other people have developed skills around managing your emotions has given me a guide map to learn how to regulate my emotions. I wouldn’t be at this stage in my recovery without all the fantastic people I have met along the way.

I met Louise when she volunteered in some of the wellbeing workshops for Mary Frances Trust. She always had something positive to bring to the workshops and I always enjoyed the courses I attended with her.

When I found out that Louise was running her own Light Relief Coffee Break session for Richmond Fellowship I was delighted and eager to engage. My anxiety was heightened at the thought of meeting new people, but I had absolutely nothing to worry about. The group were so welcoming and engaging. I saw a few faces I knew through MFT, and this made it so much easier for me on the first day. The main thing I recall from my first coffee break was a discussion about tornados and how many we have in our country. Louise is fantastic in this role, and I was made to feel welcome from the first minute. I really enjoyed connecting with the group. It makes me feel included, valued, and listened to.

Connecting with other people has made a huge difference to my recovery. I now look forward, rather than always looking backwards. I have active hope for the future, and without the social connections I would not have got this far.

Thank you to everyone at RF Community Connections for all you do to support and encourage your clients to continue their journey. I know that other clients feel the same and I would like to encourage anyone who is feeling unsure about joining Louise’s coffee break to give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.”

 

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